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Churchill eye safety Chennai Fed Cup spot in I-League crunch game

Panaji: Churchill Brothers SC have had a rollercoaster journey in the I-League this season. They had little time to put together a team, struggled at the start but the arrival of Derrick Pereira as head coach has helped turn things around.

Churchill are still not safe from relegation. With two matches left to be played, they need a win to guarantee them of safety and coach Derrick hopes the three points will be in the bag at the end of the penultimate-round clash against Chennai City FC at the Tilak Maidan in Vasco on Saturday before they take on defending champions Bengaluru FC.

“Chennai City have been playing well and they don’t have the pressure of relegation. They are a good side but we have to stay focused, believe in ourselves and put in our best efforts,” said Derrick.

Churchill were unstoppable before the international break as they outclassed Kolkata giants Mohun Bagan and East Bengal as well as Bengaluru FC. Derrick believes the break affected their momentum as the team had very few practice matches.

“When I joined, we had some very good results. I’m hoping we will continue our good run in the remaining two matches. It was a good seven matches for me so far. Worked very well with the players and they responded very well,” he added.

The two-time champions are a respectable sixth in the standings with 17 points after going down 1-3 to Aizawl FC in their last match at home. They will want to finish in the same position but will need encouraging results in the last two matches.

Chennai City have been unbeaten in their last five I-League matches and the visitors will not want to lose sight of a place in the Federation Cup, available to the best eight teams in the competition.

“Churchill have managed three big victories at home and we should be very careful about them. Anyway, we would settle for a draw but we don’t want to lose this one. We will go all out and since both are on same points, we want to take three out of this game. If we win, then we will qualify for the Federation Cup,” coach Soundara Rajan said during the media briefing.

Chennai City have the same number of points as Churchill but are placed two spots below due to inferior head-to-head record between them and DSK Shivajians, also on 17 points.

Source: Churchill eye safety Chennai Fed Cup spot in I-League crunch game

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